Open Thinkering


Tag: Mastodon

Moving Mastodon instance

This is a short post to say that today I’ve migrated my Mastodon account to Fosstodon. This is an instance of the Fediverse which describes itself in the following way:

Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.

At the time of writing, there are 11.7k accounts on Fosstodon, compared with 529k on which I’m migrating away from after a couple of years. Before that I was a member of

The great thing about the Fediverse is that it’s never a binary decision; you can move between the instances that comprise it when either you change or the something changes with the instance. The wonderful thing about moving between Mastodon instances is that there’s an automated account migration procedure, so you don’t lose followers.

I’ve been considering moving for a while, but someone shared a video today which tipped me over the edge. Watch it, even if you have no idea what I’ve been talking about so far. It reminded me of how much I missed having a ‘local timeline’ of like-minded people and feeling part of a community.

I’ll be settling into my new Fediverse account over the coming days and weeks. Thanks to those who I’ve already been interacting with on Fosstodon via the #100DaysToUnload challenge, I already feel at home!

This post is Day 30 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at

The perfect non-technical book on decentralisation?

This morning on Mastodon I asked:

If you were looking to write the perfect non-technical book on decentralisation, what would you include?

There were some great replies and I’m not going to do justice to them all here, but I want to summarise below some responses that I hope to return.

If I do get around to writing some or all of a book like this, I envisage it will have discrete, overlapping chapters like Anything You Want by Derek Sivers or 33 Myths of the System by Derek Allen. As a few people said, it’s probably best not to put ‘decentralisation’ in the title if it’s meant for a general audience.

My thanks to all who took the time to respond!

This post is Day 10 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at

How emoji triplets could help with trust and identity on decentralised social networks

Inspired by what3words, I want to share an idea that solves some problems I’ve been thinking about in the context of MoodleNet:

  1. With services that allow users to change usernames and avatars an infinite number of times, how do you know who you’re really talking to?
  2. On decentralised social networks such as Mastodon, users on different instances can have the same username. This is confusing when trying to @ mention someone.

If what3words can describe everywhere on the globe using three words, then we can describe all users of a social network using three emojis.

As I’ve explained before, LessPass (a deterministic password generator) uses emoji triplets to simultaneously obfuscate your password while providing a check that you’ve entered it correctly.


In addition, as my colleague Mayel pointed out when I shared the idea with him, the first emoji of the triplet could indicate which instance you’re on.

Mastodon profile

As you can see above, I’ve actually already added three emojis next to my username on both Twitter and Mastodon. I think it serves as a really nice, quick, visual indication that you’re dealing with the person you expect.